566 results in English
Antietam, Maryland. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Major General John A. McClernand: Another View
At the outset of the U.S. Civil War, Mathew Brady dispatched a team of photographers to document the conflict. Among them was a Scottish-born immigrant named Alexander Gardner, the photographer who took this photo of Lincoln at Antietam as well as other famous wartime shots. The man to Lincoln's right is Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, whom Lincoln had as head of a personal security detail during the war. Gardner titled another shot of Pinkerton and his brother William at Antietam “The Secret Service ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Manhattan Lying on the North River
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This 1639 pen-and-ink and watercolor ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Lesser Antilles
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Atlantic Coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay to Florida
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of New Netherland, Virginia, and New England
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The North River in New Netherland
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the South River in New Netherland
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Peninsula of Florida
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This circa 1639 map of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Hydrographical and Chorographical Chart of the Philippine Islands
This magnificent map of the Philippine archipelago, drawn by the Jesuit Father Pedro Murillo Velarde (1696–1753) and published in Manila in 1734, is the first and most important scientific map of the Philippines. The Philippines were at that time a vital part of the Spanish Empire, and the map shows the maritime routes from Manila to Spain and to New Spain (Mexico and other Spanish territory in the New World), with captions. In the upper margin stands a great cartouche with the title of the map, crowned by the ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
His Excellency: George Washington Esq: L.L.D. Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. of America and President of the Convention of 1787
In 1787, the confederation of the 13 American states was descending into disarray. The coffers were empty, New York and New Jersey were in a dispute over duties charged on goods crossing state lines, farmers in Massachusetts were rebelling, and Spain and Britain were encroaching on American territories in the west. The Federal Convention was called to address the problems of governing the young republic under the existing Articles of Confederation. The convention responded by framing the document that became the United States Constitution. The convention delegates elected George Washington ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Codicil of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Executed at Medina del Campo, on November 23, 1504
On November 23, 1504, three days before her death, Queen Isabella of Spain signed, in Medina del Campo, a codicil before the same notary, Gaspar de Gricio, and five of the seven witnesses who had been present on October 12 for the signing of her last will and testament. In the testament, the queen addressed the fundamental aspects of government by the Catholic monarchs. In the codicil, besides reaffirming what she had stipulated in the testament, she addressed questions directly affecting peninsular government and showed her concern for Spanish policy ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Group of Circus Performers
This December 1932 photograph shows the members of three world-famous trapeze acts posing in the safety net at La Scala in Berlin: The Flying Codonas of Mexico, The Flying Concellos of the United States, and Les Amadori of Italy. Shown from left to right are Genesio Amadori (Les Amadori), Art Concello (The Flying Concellos), Alfredo Codona (The Flying Codonas), Vera (Bruce) Codona (The Flying Codonas), Antoinette Concello (The Flying Concellos), Ginevra Amadori (Les Amadori), Everett White (The Flying Concellos), Lalo Codona (The Flying Codonas), and Goffreddo Amadori (Les Amadori). The ...
Letter from Otto Ringling, October 26, 1907
Otto Ringling (1858–1911) was the son of a German immigrant who, with his brothers Albert, Alfred, Charles, John, August, and Henry, created the Ringling Bros. circus empire in the late 19th century. The brothers bought the competing Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907. They ran the circuses separately at first, but merged them in 1919 to create the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which came to be known as “the Greatest Show on Earth.” This letter, written by Otto to his brothers in October 1907, details how the assets ...
Circus Spectacle Float
This photograph depicts an elaborate spectacle float in the “backyard” of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in September 1922. The spectacle, or “spec,” often opened the show and was a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able to costume. Traced back to the earliest circuses in America, the spec was originally a lavish performance of literary or historical tales intended to entertain and edify the audience ...
Ringling Bros. Lion Tableau Wagon
Parades to celebrate the arrival of the circus to town in America featured highly decorated wagons carrying the circus band and artists along main thoroughfares to the big top circus tent, attracting patrons along the way. This “Lion Tableau” wagon was built by Sebastian Wagon Works of New York City in approximately 1880 for the Adam Forepaugh Circus.  A telescoping platform holding the figure of Saint George fighting a dragon was removed around 1889 and the lower portion was converted into a bandwagon. The wagon was purchased by the Ringling ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
John Robinson's Circus
This 1929 photograph shows the interior of John Robinson's Circus during a spectacle, or “spec,” performance of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the American circus, the spec developed as a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able to costume. John Robinson’s Circus was especially known for its dazzling productions of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, which offered a ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
Back Door Scene at the American Circus
In the American circus, the area directly behind the circus tent or arena where performers prepared for and staged their entrances through the “back door” came to be known as the “backyard.” This glass-plate negative from 1928 reveals a typical backyard scene of an American circus just prior to performance of the spectacular production number. The spectacle, or “spec,” was a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
Circus Midway Scene
This 1935 photograph shows a crowd gathering on the midway of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, heading towards the entrance marquee tent. On the left is the painted banner line depicting freaks and attractions in the sideshow, an added fee attraction operating before the main show. On the right can be seen concession tents and ticket wagons. Visible behind the marquee entrance is the “free” menagerie tent consisting of the exhibition of exotic caged animals, elephants, and other lead stock. By the 1930s, the midway had become an important part of the ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
Cole Bros. Circus
This 1935 image presents a scene from a typical moderate-sized 20th-century American circus. A crowd watches as baggage wagons from the Cole Bros. Circus are being pulled over flatcars. The railcars are marked Clyde Beatty and Allen King, who were two of the more notable animal trainers of the period. Behind the flatcars are stock cars that held elephants and baggage horses. This scene was repeated daily, morning and night, in railroad yards in communities across the United States. Cole Bros. Circus was established in 1884 by William Washington Cole ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark: To the Sources of the Missouri, thence Across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean
This account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, published in 1814, is based on the detailed journals kept by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the leaders of expedition. The book begins with “Life of Captain Lewis,” written by Thomas Jefferson, which reproduces Jefferson’s detailed instructions to Lewis regarding the goals of the expedition. “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan [sic ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Free Street Parade of the Sells-Floto Circus
This colorful lithograph advertises the upcoming street parade of the Sells-Floto Circus, promoting ticket sales to the local residents for the twice-a-day shows. The artwork captures the grandeur of the American circus parade in the 1920s. The parade is led by a rider wearing an 18th-century costume and carrying a circus banner. Behind the rider is a group of mounted horsemen, elephants in costumes worn in big production number during the show (“spec costuming”), a band, and a number of circus wagons. Several of the elephants and wagons promote the ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Interview with Fountain Hughes, Baltimore, Maryland, June 11, 1949
Approximately 4 million slaves were freed at the conclusion of the American Civil War. The stories of a few thousand have been passed on to future generations through word of mouth, diaries, letters, records, or written transcripts of interviews. Only 26 audio-recorded interviews of ex-slaves have been found, 23 of which are in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In this interview, 101-year-old Fountain Hughes recalls his boyhood as a slave, the Civil War, and life in the United States as an African American ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Pay Off of Spec—the Good Old Times
In the American circus, the spectacle, or “spec,” developed as a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able to costume. Traced back to the earliest circuses in America, the spec was originally a lavish performance of literary or historical tales intended to entertain and edify the audience. The costumes created for specs were often exotic, representing cultures from all corners of the globe. The costumes also could be ...
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody
William Fredrick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846–1917) was at different times a trapper, miner, Pony Express rider, scout, wagon master, stagecoach driver, legislator, and Civil War soldier. He earned his nickname, Buffalo Bill, because of his skill in supplying the Kansas Pacific Railroad with buffalo meat for its workers; in 18 months, he killed more than 4,000 buffalos. In 1883, he started the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Omaha, Nebraska, using cowboys and Native Americans to portray scenes from the West. The show recreated daring rescues, heroic ...
Ringling Circus Winter Quarters, Sarasota, Florida
John Ringling (1866–1936), one of the seven Ringling brothers who dominated the development of the American circus in the late 19th and early 20th century, moved the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from its original quarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Sarasota, Florida. Ringling’s vision, as recalled by Fred Bradna, equestrian director for the show, in his book The Big Top, was to “lay out the quarters like a zoo, and thousands of visitors will pay to see it. I’ll build an open-air ...
View of Saint Thomas in America with the Citadel Fort Christian
This colored drawing by an anonymous artist is a view of the Danish settlement on the island of Saint Thomas (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands) as it appeared in the 18th century. The settlement was established in 1672 by the Danish West India Company. Denmark claimed the nearby island of Saint John in 1683 and purchased the island of Saint Croix from France in 1733. The three islands became a Danish royal colony in 1754. The colony prospered as the import of slaves made possible a profitable plantation economy, and ...
Products of Mexico and Central America
This black-and-white sketch map showing the products of Mexico and Central America was prepared for publication in the Bulletin of the Pan American Union. It is now preserved in the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States, successor organization to the Pan American Union. Typed or written on the map are the locations of centers of both agricultural and mineral production. The map shows mineral production located mainly in Mexico, with asphalt, coal, gold, lead, petroleum, precious stones (opals), quicksilver (mercury), and silver listed. Mexico is also shown ...
Military Map, Island of Puerto Rico
This military map of Puerto Rico was published in 1898, the year in which the United States, in the course of the Spanish-American War, seized the island from Spain. Hostilities began on May 12 with a blockade and bombardment of the city of San Juan by the U.S. Navy. This was followed with the landing off the coast of Guánica on July 12 of a force of 1,300 U.S. soldiers. In the peace treaty that was signed in Paris on December 10, 1898, the United States formally ...
The Lincoln Bible
On March 4, 1861, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln using a Bible provided by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, because Lincoln’s family Bible was packed with other belongings that still were en route to Washington from Springfield, Illinois. In the back of the velvet-covered Bible, along with the seal of the Supreme Court, the volume is annotated: "I, William Thos. Carroll, clerk of the said court do hereby certify that the preceding copy of the Holy Bible is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Occupational Portrait of Three Railroad Workers Standing on Crank Handcar
Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1789–1851) invented the daguerreotype process, which was announced in France on August 19, 1839. American photographers quickly capitalized on this new invention because of its capability of capturing a "truthful likeness." Daguerreotypists encouraged not only celebrities and political figures to have their pictures taken, but also ordinary tradesmen. Workers, proud of their skills and their professions, would spend nearly a day’s wages to have a photographic portrait made. This daguerreotype, made by an unknown photographer sometime in the 1850s, is an occupational portrait of three railroad ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1896
This panoramic map shows Titusville, Pennsylvania, as it appeared in 1896. Located in western Pennsylvania, Titusville is known as the place where the modern oil industry began. In 1859, the recently formed Seneca Oil Company hired retired railroad conductor Edwin L. Drake to investigate suspected oil deposits near Titusville. Drake used an old steam engine to drill a well that began the first large-scale commercial extraction of petroleum. By the early 1860s, western Pennsylvania had been transformed by the oil boom. The numbered index at the bottom of the map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Bird's-Eye View of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
The Chicago world’s fair, or the World’s Columbian Exposition as it was officially called, was held in 1893 to mark the 400th anniversary, the previous year, of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The fair marked Chicago’s coming of age as a national and world city, a mere 60 years after the city’s founding and just 22 years after the great Chicago fire of 1871. This map, produced by the Chicago-based Rand McNally and Company, shows the design of the exposition, which was mainly the work ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map Showing the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Platte Valley
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1, 1862. The act gave two companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, responsibility for completing the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific was to lay track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska toward Ogden, Utah; the Central Pacific was to build eastward from Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific began construction on December 2, 1863. This map, submitted to Secretary of Interior James Harlan on September 18, 1865, by Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Simpson of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Ceremony at "Wedding of the Rails," May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1, 1862. The act gave two companies, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad, responsibility for completing the transcontinental railroad and authorized extensive land grants and the issuance of 30-year government bonds to finance the undertaking. The Union Pacific was to lay track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska; the Central Pacific was to build eastward from Sacramento, California. The meeting point of the two lines, a matter of some significance relating to land grants ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Telegram from Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to His Father Announcing Four Successful Flights, 1903 December 17
At approximately 10:35 in the morning on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet (37 meters). Orville and his brother Wilbur made three more flights that day, the longest of which covered 852 feet (260 meters) in 59 seconds. With this telegram, sent from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the late afternoon of the same day, Orville informed their father of the achievement. The text reads: “Success four flights this ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Wilbur Wright Working in the Bicycle Shop
This 1897 photograph shows Wilbur Wright (1867–1912) at work in the bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, which he ran with his brother Orville (1871–1948). After starting a printing business and a weekly newspaper, in 1892 the brothers opened the shop to rent, sell, and eventually manufacture bicycles. Neither brother had education beyond high school, but they became fascinated by the possibilities of human flight and read and studied all they could about aerodynamics. Having concluded that all published tables on air pressures on curved surfaces were wrong, they ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Bird's Eye View of Cumberland, Maryland 1906
This panoramic map shows Cumberland, Maryland, as it appeared in 1906. Located on the Potomac River in the western part of the state, Cumberland was an important transportation hub early in the nation’s history. It was the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, built between 1828 and 1850 to link the Ohio River with Chesapeake Bay. It was the starting point of the National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road), on which construction began in 1811, and which ran westward to Vandalia, Illinois. Cumberland later became ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory Notebook, 1875-1876
In his notebook entry of March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) described the first successful experiment with the telephone, during which he spoke through the instrument to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, in the next room. Bell wrote: "I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: 'Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.' To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said." Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where his father, Alexander Melville Bell, was a teacher ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Study for Woolworth Building, New York
On April 24, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button in Washington, DC, that first illuminated the more than 5,000 windows in the 60-story Woolworth Building, the tallest building in the world at that time. Located on Broadway in lower Manhattan, New York City, the building was a triumph of American construction technology and architectural prowess. Known as "the Cathedral of Commerce," it was clad in gleaming architectural terra-cotta, with a gilded roof ascending to 793 feet (233 meters). Shown here is a sketch elevation of the building by ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
New Records on the Travel Round the Globe
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, in 1876 the United States held a Centennial Exhibition in the same city. The Foreign Office of the late Qing court authorized the Commercial Tax Office for the Western Countries to arrange the Chinese display at the exposition. Li Gui (1842–1903), a secretary at the Customs Office, was dispatched to the United States with a delegation to assist in the arrangements. On his journey he also visited England, France, and other countries. After his ...
Contributed by National Central Library